As we move towards Halloween and all things scary, what about some spooky books for those longer nights? A popular online forum recently looked to identify the most sinister reads out there, and this is what they uncovered.
1- Horrostor by Grady Hendrix
The original poster sought unusual suggestions and not the usual Scooby Doo-esque tales of a family moving into a haunted house. One of the first respondents voted for Horrorstor, a horror novel based in Ikea.
2- Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield
While labeled as horror, one forum member felt that Our Wives Under the Sea covered several genres. They described it as having a lot of magic realism and some body horror in an atmospheric setting.
3- Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
Set in a world where cannibalism becomes legal, one reader tentatively recommended Tender is the Flesh. They admitted they couldn’t finish it, stating it was too unsettling.
4- The Ghosts of Thorwald Place by Helen Power
Murder victim Rachel remains tied to the crime scene in this chilling novel. It was recommended on the forum as a ghost story from the victim's point-of-view.
5- Uzumaki by Junji Ito
There are several books in this series, as one commenter urged the original poster to give Manga a try. An unusual mix of Manga and horror has proved to be a hit.
6- Leech by Hiron Ennes
This memorable novel by Hiron Ennes takes body horror to a new level. One individual put it forward, claiming that the book uses a “unique premise, and was incredibly unsettling, without relying too much on shock factor.”
7- The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
This work by Rick Yancey is bracketed as Young Adult, so it may only be for some. However, one person gives it a sound endorsement as it contains “unusual monsters, with the correct amount of gross.”
8- Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen
This book by Samantha Leigh Allen certainly meets the original brief. Elsewhere, it’s been described as a “bonkers tale,” and it sits in the unusual category of fun horror. One forum poster confirmed that they had read Patricia Wants to Cuddle in one sitting.
9- Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons
Sci-Fi meets horror in this chilling book by Dan Simmons. Published in 1989; it’s become a cult classic. Carrion Comfort receives many votes in the discussion, although one member conditionally recommends it. They confirmed it’s the only book they’ve “abandoned as it was too upsetting and disturbing.”
10- The Descent by Jeff Long
In this book by Jeff Long, a discovery in the Himalayas threatens to change everything we thought we knew about mankind. One forum member describes this novel as containing “lots of claustrophobic subterranean supernatural creepiness.”
11- No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull
Another book that challenges our perception of reality, No Gods, No Monsters, is set in a world where those monsters are real. One reader recommends it, stating it is “bizarre and unique, and manages to skilfully blend creepy moments with allegorical political commentary.”
12- Bunny by Mona Awad
This novel by Mona Awad is described as a mix of fairytale horror and satire. That ticks the box marked unusual, and one respondent describes Bunny as disturbing and bizarre.
13- There is no Antimemetics Division by qntm
This curiously-titled novel comes from an equally mysterious author known as qntm. As one commenter said, “the concept is so unique it broke my brain.” Based on that recommendation, the original poster began reading immediately.
14- The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
The original poster said they wanted to escape Stephen King, but one respondent insisted that this was different. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is based on our heroine getting “hunted by the spirit of the forest.”
15- The Enemy by Charlie Higson
If I could be indulged, I’d like to finish with a personal recommendation. Charlie Higson is an innovative author who manages to invent some genuinely bizarre ways of killing off characters. Many options exist, but The Enemy will resonate as it describes a post-apocalyptic world. Who doesn’t love a zombie apocalypse?